Shed’s owners unveil new restaurant concept to replace Blank

Shed’s owners unveil new restaurant concept to replace Blank

The husband and wife team behind Shed Bistro have announced the opening of a new restaurant in Belfast at the site of what was Blank on the city’s Malone Road.

Christina and Jonny Taylor’s Saga will drawn from different global cuisines, with chef Jonny saying he has been inspired by “the aromatic spices of Asia to the rustic charm of Italian cuisine and the refined elegance of French gastronomy.”

The motto for the new restaurant is “think global, eat local”, and will continue their commitment to sourcing their produce from the island of Ireland.

The owners say they are trying to create a restaurant suited to the current climate, with a child-friendly and relaxed ethos.

Saga will run an á la carte menu with several new offers including a Sunday roast, a pre-theatre menu and a chateaubriand for two.

The couple say they are “thrilled” to be launching Saga: “Our journey to this point hasn’t always been straightforward- and that’s exactly what inspired the name ‘Saga’. As restaurant owners we’ve faced difficult challenges, but our passion and joy for culinary exploration has remained strong.

“Our aim is simple: to craft a warm and inviting dining experience that embraces the best of local and global flavours. By introducing our new à la carte menu, Sunday roast options, and pre-theatre selections, we hope to offer something special for every guest.”

Jonny, from Antrim, and Christina, who comes from Slovakia, met 10 years ago working in Jamie Oliver’s in Edinburgh,

They took over Shed on Belfast’s Ormeau Road in 2018, and launched the high-end restaurant Blank in 2021. It ran a tasting menu of high-end dishes, with each course a mystery until it was set in front of diners.

When the closure of Blank was announced, the owners said that, “the financial strains of operating the restaurant, exacerbated by escalating wages and the rising costs of local produce — a commitment the team staunchly upheld — have ultimately rendered Blank financially unviable”.

They announced an intention to open a more affordable restaurant on the same site following its closure.